Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T) yesterday said the removal of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru from the presidium took women a step backwards.
By VENERANDA LANGA
Khupe said this while introducing a motion in the House which called on the Executive to declare March 8 a national holiday to commemorate womanhood and women’s rights.
“It is now 35 years since Independence and the question in Zimbabwe is what is it that women have achieved politically, economically and socially?” Khupe said.
“Right now we only have three females in Cabinet — we had a female Vice-President, but she was removed, and as women we are being taken steps backwards instead of going forwards.”
She said women were the ones running the economy as 80% of Zimbabweans were in the informal sector of which an estimated 70% were women. Khupe said as a way of recognising the important role in nation building played by women, no woman should give birth at home and fail to have access to maternal health and antiretroviral drugs.
“I am calling on this House to urge the Executive to declare March 8 a national holiday so that every Zimbabwean at home glorifies the importance of women and womanhood. Women are good leaders, they are not corrupt and they put people and companies forward,” she said.
Seconder of the motion Mufakose MP Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T) said there were no equal opportunities between men and women. Mpariwa said even if a wife was the one who was working hard at home, society would attribute the success to the husband.
She said women, who constituted more than half of the population, were not yet free.
“Zimbabwe has 12 public holidays, and we need March 8 declared a national holiday because we are tired of celebrating this day while at work. Seven Sadc countries have made it a public holiday. Zimbabwe is Sadc chair and should be seen to lead by example,” Mpariwa said.